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Beautiful Colors Of Sin 2: Literature : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Beautiful Colors Of Sin 2

By: naijarian (F) |Time : October 14, 2016, 06:17:56 PM
It had just stopped raining and the roads had been slippery. Dad was negotiating a bend when a big truck ran into us and I fainted only to regain consciousness in a hospital bed days later. Sean was not seriously injured and had helped the doctors in contacting Aunt Betty.

They told us that Dad and Mum died on the spot. I cried for days. Death was mean to us that month. Everything as we knew it changed and I was just sixteen years old while Sean was thirteen. People expected us to hold it together as we were old enough but it was terrible. It was like my whole life crumbled down in front of me. We were not prepared for this. It was nothing we wanted and we didn’t know what to make of it or how to do things after that. We had a close family and that made the future something I dreaded.

After the burial, we became the responsibility of the family. Our grandmother wanted us to come to Queens but the family said that it was too soon. Uncle Syl moved into our house in the name of taking care of us even though he had his interior motive which we later found out the hard way.

It started with his yells and scream and soon it graduated to threats and then he tried to molest me to Sean’s anger. He hit uncle Syl with a chair and had threatened to kill him if he ever laid his hand on his sister again. Yes, he got a serious beating from our uncle but the man got the message. Things became worse after this. Syl would call us names and would flare up at the tiniest provocations. I was saddled with the responsibility of shielding my brother from my uncle’s threats and curses. He would threaten to kill us if we dared to report him to any other member of our extended family.

The bigger reality dawned on me when I got admission into a higher institution and my uncle said that there was no money in Dad’s company account to spend on my education at a fancy university. It was a big blow to my face. He even suggested that I defer out so that Sean could complete his education at a public school.

We were however rescued by Aunt Betty who stood by us and helped us to reclaim our right from our uncle. The Will our parents left indicated that they left a fixed deposit account with some reasonable amount of money for us. The Will also read that a land was to be sold and the money used for our education, but it was really not enough to cater for the two us. Aunty Betty assisted in paying for my school fees. She changed Sean’s school because the school fee was not something she could afford. His new school was also a private school and it was located near her house and that was good enough for me.

I settled down to campus life after I had made sure my brother was duly settled in his new school. He was placed in the hostel when Aunt Betty’s husband refused the plea for him to live with them because of his daughter. Our house was given to a caretaker to run and maintain until we were old enough to take over, this led to one of uncle Syl’s threats and rages. He threatened to put a curse on anybody that stepped in the house but my aunt just waved it aside as the cry of a deranged man.

Soon enough, life on campus became less demanding and less frightening; the fright was because of the stories from my parent and the media about violent student unrest and cultism. I began to make vital decisions for myself instead of having to run to Aunt Betty every time something new came up on campus.

It was one of the days that I had to walk to the lecture hall under the scorching sun that I ran into Sandra. Sandra was a tall, fair and very pretty lady with these cute eyes. It was the eyes I noticed as she walked towards me that day. I couldn’t really recollect who she was but I knew her face was familiar and it was as if she was thinking the same thing because before I could bring myself to call her, she walked up to me.

“Excuse me,” Sandra said. “Do you by any chance know me somewhere? You look like someone I know.

Well, I’m not sure. You look familiar too,” I answered and moved closer to her side.

“Did you attend Life-Gate Memorial at Ibadan?” she asked further.

“No, I didn’t but I lived in that town before my admission into this school," I replied.

“I did too. I lived at Greenwell Estate,” she said, and squinted from the sun.

“Oh, that is probably where we met. I lived there too. I grew up there actually,” I said. Sandra’s eyes opened in surprise.

“I remember you. You are that girl that used to wear one funny looking eye glasses. We lived on the same street. Your dad had a blue BMW,” Sandra said and frowned.

I nodded, I remembered her too. She was the girl that used to wave and make funny faces at me anytime we passed by their house with the bamboo fence. The house used to annoy Sean because it was the oldest house with its ugly fence and dirty compound.

“I’m sorry about your dad. My mum told me he died in an auto crash. How is your brother?” Sandra asked as she pulled me towards the shade of a mahogany tree by the side of the road. She said something about the scorching sun and our delicate skin.

“We are doing reasonably well. Are you also in this school?” I asked eventually after she had finished wiping her sweaty arms.

“Yes. I got admitted for Mass communication,” She replied as we walked towards the lecture hall. That was the beginning of a great journey of friendship.

We became very close and we discovered that we had lots of things in common. Her parents were not as privileged as ours, because her dad was a half-educated mechanic while her mum sold beverages in a small kiosk in front their house. Sean used to turn his back whenever Sandra waved at our passing car. I did not remember ever waving back until she stopped waving and started making those funny faces and throwing sand. Mum saw this one day and urged me to wave at Sandra whenever she waved at me though Sean thought this was not necessary.

“They are filthy, mum,” Sean would say. Mum would scold him for saying such things and would tell him to thank his stars that he was more privileged. It never meant anything but we started waving at her and her sister, Jenny.

At the beginning of our friendship, she told me all about herself and her family. She said her parent used to live in the North before moving to Ibadan when the religious crisis began and their properties were burnt and her brother killed, the pain in her voice when she told me the agony she experienced during this crisis was heart wrenching for me.
She told me how jealous and envious she used to be whenever we cruised down the street in our blue car looking smart and healthy. Her mum would sense the longing look in her eyes and would tell her to work harder at her studies so that she could also own a car like that. She always wished I would just wave back at her all those times she waved but was always disappointed that I used to look at her like a common beggar. She got angry at the leering look in Sean’s eyes and the sand throwing started. It always pained her that the look was like we were judging her like she would never amount to anything in life.

She told me that her dad was always too drunk to remember to pay her school fees, and she was always wearing hand-me-down clothes that hugged her body a little too tightly. She started to blame people like my parent for being who they were and for not caring about people like them. She said she had to go to the taxi- parks and motor parks to sell sachet water, oranges, and biscuits. She had had to go in between moving cars; pinched by dirty looking touts; spanked on the buttock by drunk drivers that wanted their change that she didn’t have; all in the name of making sales.

She told me of how she used to get beaten everyday by her teachers because of her incessant lateness to school. They did not understand that she had to trek all the way to school so as to eat something when she gets there. She told me of the humiliation of being thrown out of school when they couldn’t pay. In all these hardship, her sister had to stop school because her father and his family thought educating a girl was a wasted effort. Sandra said that her mum had to put up with a lot of stress and humiliation for her to remain in school because she saw the diligence and determination in her daughter. Her fees were often pardoned because of the quizzes and competitions she won for the school through her academic brilliance.

She confessed to me that each time she had to study in the sitting room that served as bedroom for herself and her sister while their parents slept in the tiny bedroom, the memory of me and my brother in our parents’ car and the scornful look on the faces of her dad’s family kept her eyes opened and set her determination higher even when the smoke from the open-lantern stung her eyes. Each time she talked about her childhood, I saw how thankful I should be for my parents. I couldn’t imagine myself hawking oranges on main roads because my parents were poor.
Sandra and I did our registration together. We were allocated the same hostel on the campus which was another part of my life that helped shape my adulthood. And it was indeed a very interesting one.

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